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ContractsCounsel has assisted 63 clients with liquor licenses and maintains a network of 25 business lawyers available daily.

What is a Liquor License Lawyer?

A liquor license lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in the laws surrounding liquor sales. They specifically study the rules and guidelines set in place by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) and the Tax & Trade Bureau of the Department of Treasury (TTB).

An alcohol lawyer focuses on assisting business owners such as those that run restaurants or bars in these areas:

  • Liquor license
  • Beverage licensing
  • Beverage practice

What Do Liquor License Lawyers Do?

Liquor license lawyers are important members of the service sector. In the United States, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), and the Tax & Trade Bureau of the Department of Treasury (TTB) set strict laws regarding the sale and serving of alcohol.

If a business or any employee of the business breaks these laws, it could be detrimental to the operation. Aside from fees and tickets that could be received from law violations, businesses could even lose their liquor license after several offenses or one major offense.

A liquor license is a special credential awarded by the federal government that certifies businesses to sell and serve alcohol. To obtain a liquor license , business owners and employees must take a special class and pay a fee to obtain it.

They must also regularly renew their licensing to remain compliant with laws.

Liquor license attorneys assist these entities with ensuring they are fully compliant within their workplaces. Even though most of the basics of liquor laws are covered in the licensing class, there are other areas that lawyers can help with.

For instance, the liquor laws require alcohol beverage control (ABC). If an employee serves a patron too much liquor and that person proceeds to operate a vehicle and causes an accident, the business is on the hook for a legal battle.

Liquor license attorneys specialize in representing businesses that end up in these predicaments. Since the outcome of lawsuits like these can determine the survival of the business, it’s imperative to secure adequate representation to avoid this.

Even if a business isn’t involved in a legal dispute, liquor license attorneys are still helpful. They can assist businesses with processing the proper paperwork to obtain liquor licenses and give valuable advice about other ways to stay compliant.

Liquor license attorneys are also helpful for obtaining other necessary documents, such as:

  • Sales tax permit
  • Health permit
  • Building permit
  • Zoning permit

Even though the investment into a liquor license attorney can be steep, it’s a great protection to have in your back pocket. Allocating the funds toward professional help is a great line of defense against potentially devastating legal blows to the company.

Check out this article to learn more about what liquor license attorneys do and how they are helpful.

Applying for a Liquor License

Luckily, applying for a liquor license is a simple process.

Typically, the first step to obtaining a liquor license is to schedule an appointment with your state. Each state has an official licensing office in its area that can assist with this step. Once the appointment is scheduled, it’s time to fill out the necessary paperwork.

Most states require proper identification, a pre-application form, and business documents that state the capacity in which you will deal with alcohol. They may also provide a checklist of other important documents to bring – check with your local office to confirm

Next, it’s time for the governing agency to review your application and issue your business license. Once your application is approved, you will be asked to submit licensing fees. These costs can range anywhere from $100 to $20,000, depending on the state and the capacity in which you plan to serve alcohol.

Once the license is issued, businesses must make sure to remain up to date on their licensing. This usually requires renewal every few years, which entails sending a renewal application and renewal fee to the state department. Failure to renew a liquor license is grounds for legal recourse, so make sure to stay on top of this.

If a company or employee is denied a liquor license, liquor license attorneys can help. Using their expertise, these attorneys can determine what when wrong in the process and what steps can be taken to remedy the situation.

Since operating a business that serves alcohol is impossible without liquor licenses, the services that a liquor license attorney can provide in this scenario are essential. Remember, selling or serving liquor without the proper licensing can spell trouble for any business in the legal realm.

Here is an article about how to apply for a liquor license.

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Types of Liquor Licenses

You may be surprised to learn that there are several different types of liquor licenses. The type of license that is right for you depends on the state you live in, the capacity in which you sell or serve alcohol, and the demand for licenses in your area.

Here are some examples of the most common types of liquor licenses:

  • Arts licenses
  • Beer and wine licenses
  • Hotel licenses
  • Restaurant licenses
  • Bar licenses
  • Delivery licenses
  • Retail licenses

When businesses want to buy a liquor license in their state, they can choose to work with a liquor license broker to make the process easier and more efficient. These brokers work directly with licensing agencies on behalf of the business for a fee.

Working with a liquor license broker might be the right option for you if:

  • You are willing to pay an additional fee for their services
  • You don’t have the time to work directly with your state licensing agency
  • You want to make sure your liquor license is legitimate
  • You need help making sure licensing paperwork is accurate and complete
  • You want to prevent mistakes

Liquor license lawyers are also helpful in many of the same areas. Things such as determining which liquor license is right for you, which fees are applicable, and how the process of approval can be sped up are all things that a liquor license attorney can help with.

Remember: there’s no need to face liquor licensing alone. Hiring a professional is the best way to take advantage of the most efficient and accurate process of liquor licensing.

Find out more about the types of liquor licenses out there by checking out this article .

How Much Does a Liquor License Lawyer Cost?

Working with a liquor license attorney is one of the easiest and most surefire ways to get your liquor license in a flash. They can also assist you in litigation if a dispute arises over licensing violations or other types of crimes, such as overserving.

Liquor license attorney fees are not usually conservative; you can expect to pay around $5,000 for basic support and guidance. Even though this number sounds steep, it’s important to keep in mind that the services you receive are well worth the money, especially if you’re able to avoid litigation after working with a professional such as this.

Post a project on ContractsCounsel today to get in touch with liquor license attorneys who can guide you through the licensing process and ensure your compliance with state and federal regulations.


ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.


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